A Miyagi city's efforts to rebuild its electrical power system after 3/11 mark a quiet shift away from Japan's old utility model and toward self-reliant, local generation and transmission. After losing three-quarters of its homes and 1,100 people in the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the city of Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture turned to the government's "national resilience program," with ¥3.72 trillion in funding for this fiscal year, to rebuild. The city of 40,000 chose to construct microgrids and decentralized renewable power generation to create a self-sustaining system in Tohoku capable of producing an average of 25 percent of its electricity without the need of the region's power utility. The city's steps illustrate a massive yet little known effort to take dozens of the nation's towns and communities off the power grid and make them partly self-sufficient in generating electricity. "At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we couldn't secure power and had to go through incredible hardships," said Yusuke Atsumi, a manager at Hope, the utility the city created to manage the local power generation and grid.
Sep-24-2017, 04:12:58 GMT